Twenty six teams, a new tournament format, exciting rule changes and a new sponsor - Cougar Bourbon - will give Sevens Rugby League a whole new look from January 24, 2004.
The biggest change to the 2004 Cougar World Sevens could be the introduction of a four tackle rule last seen in any Rugby League event in 1970.
Tickets for the Cougar World Sevens to be staged at Aussie Stadium on January 24 and 25 go on sale at all Ticketek agencies from 9.00am tomorrow (Tuesday, December 9) with family passes from just $30.00 on the opening day.
Twenty six teams will take part in the event including nine international sides led by English Club team Widnes and including Russia, PNG, Lebanon, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and a New Zealand Residents team.
The United States, Italy, Cook Islands, Japan and the NZ Maoris will also compete for their chance to be in the main draw when they take part in the one day qualifying tournament at St Marys on January 21.
"The qualifying tournament last year attracted 5,000 fans on top of the 50,000 who went to the World Sevens at Aussie Stadium," RLIF and ARL Chairman, Mr Colin Love said today.
"The return of the World Sevens was one of the real highlights of 2003 and the fact that it now has a sponsorship partner in Cougar Bourbon is a reflection of the recognition the event has gained.
"The Rugby League International Federation has seen the Sevens generate real enthusiasm for the game at an international level and spark genuine interest from a number of countries keen to learn more about the game.
"Sevens Rugby League has always been exciting and innovative and we have a lot of surprises planned for the way the 2004 tournament will be conducted.
"The fans have a great time and the clubs are playing for a $100,000 winners' cheque."
Among the changes in 2004 will be the removal of 'plate' and 'bowl' events with live pool matches carrying into Sunday.
Sunday will also feature an international teams trophy event, a repechage play off for one quarter final berth and the final of the schoolboy's sevens event.
Pricing details for the World Sevens are as follows:
2004 World Sevens
Category 1: Adult 25.00 Conc. 15.00 Family 60.00
Category 2: Adult 15.00 Conc. 10.00 Family 30.00
Category 1: Adult 30.00 Conc. 20.00 Family 80.00
Category 2: Adult 20.00 Conc. 15.00 Family 40.00
2 day pass
Category 1: Adult 45.00 Conc. 25.00 Family 100.00
Category 2: Adult 25.00 Conc. 20.00 Family 60.00